Perception Cannabis Dispensary Proposal
Update on Perception Cannabis Dispensary Proposal
After a long search for a suitable space to open its dispensary, Perception Cannabis settled on the former currency exchange located at 7000 N. Clark. While the proposal doesn't require a zoning change, Perception Cannabis would be required to obtain a Special Use Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals in order to operate.
As the community input process for this proposal progressed, many constituents expressed concern about Lunt Auto & Tire having to close and relocate. The plans include demolishing the building at the site to provide parking for the retail space. Many of our constituents, understandably, expressed concern that this proposal would displace a long-term, minority-owned local business in the ward.
In learning about the situation with Lunt Auto & Tire, I began conversations with the business owner and the property owner leasing him the space. In those conversations, I learned that Lunt Auto & Tire had inadvertently let their lease lapse in December and have been on a month-to-month lease since January. The landlord had initiated conversations with them beginning in January to let them know that they were having issues finding a tenant for the retail space without offering parking. They let the tenant know that if they found a viable tenant, they would look to transform the space Lunt Auto & Tire occupies into a parking lot as they could not afford to keep the large retail space on Clark vacant. Those conversations pre-dated Perception Cannabis expressing interest in the storefront, meaning that the plans to create parking for the retail space were not tied to any specific business or tenant.
I've been working with all parties to see if we could come to an amicable solution to help meet everyone's needs. In conversations I had with the owner of Lunt Auto & Tire, he expressed that he needed time and some financial breaks in order to find a new location for his business. The property owner has indicated she is willing to grant some financial relief in the form of two months of rent reimbursement for Lunt Auto & Tire to help them with costs associated with relocating. Lunt Auto & Tire has also already found a new location for their business to continue and I've reached out to the Alderman of that ward to ask for his support in some permitting approvals they'll need; those requests have been granted.
The location that Perception Cannabis selected for its dispensary is in the heart of a critical commercial corridor in the 49th Ward. The dispensary, coupled with the opening of the Wild Onion Market, creates the potential to anchor the area and encourage additional economic development throughout the corridor. Additionally, Perception Cannabis is a social equity license holder with roots already in the Rogers Park community. Its CEO, Charles Cherqui, is a long-term 49th Ward resident who wants to grow his business in his own backyard and provide employment opportunities within his community.
Based on the community response to the proposal and the concessions the landlord is willing to offer the owner of Lunt Auto & Tire, I am supporting Perception Cannabis' request for a Special Use Permit.
Perception Cannabis Survey Results
The 49th Ward has compiled all the survey results for the Perception Cannabis proposal. We have broken down the responses more granularly to get a better idea of how the community at large feels versus those closest to the proposed location. As you scroll through the presentation of the results, you will find it broken down by:
All 49th Ward respondents
49th Ward residents who live farther than four blocks away
49th Ward residents who live within four blocks
49th Ward residents who live within two blocks
49th Ward residents who live within one block
Respondents who live outside of ward boundaries
The common themes we saw in the open comments section for this proposal included the following:
Concerns that Lunt Auto & Tire would close if the dispensary is approved
Support for a social equity license holder to open a location in the ward
Concerns about the location's proximity to churches and daycares
The 49th Ward is reviewing all submitted feedback with Perception Cannabis. We are also continuing conversations with the owner of Lunt Auto & Tire and its landlord. Please continue to keep an eye on our newsletter and website, where we will share information on the outcome of those conversations and other important updates.
To learn more about the proposal, visit the 49th Ward website at 49thward.org/perceptioncannabis. To view the granular breakdown of all community feedback, visit bit.ly/PerceptionSurveyResults.
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Perception Cannabis' Proposed Dispensary
On Tuesday, March 14, the 49th Ward office hosted a community meeting to discuss Perception Cannabis' proposal to open a dispensary at 7000 N. Clark. 7000 N. Clark is currently zoned as C1-2, so no zoning change is required. However, in Chicago, dispensaries are required to obtain a Special Use Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals in order to operate.
Perception Cannabis is a social equity license holder looking to open a location in the 49th Ward. It's CEO, Charles Cherqui, is a long-term 49th Ward resident and is committed to hiring within the community.
We would like to hear residents' feedback on the proposal. Please take a moment to complete the online feedback form at bit.ly/PerceptionFeedback. Feedback will be accepted through April 2, 2023.
More information on the proposal and Perception Cannabis' plans are available below. A recording of the community meeting is available to view by clicking here.
Community Meeting on Perception Cannabis' Special Use Permit Request March 14
Perception Cannabis will join the 49th Ward office for a community meeting on Tuesday, March 14, at 6 pm to request its request for a Special Use Permit to open a dispensary at Clark and Lunt.
After a long search for a suitable space to open its dispensary, Perception Cannabis is interested in opening at the former currency exchange located at 7000 N. Clark. The plans also include a parking lot so customers can easily access the business. The large footprint, prominent facade, and proximity to the new Wild Onion Cooperative make it an ideal location for a recreational cannabis dispensary. The dispensary would inject new life into a critical commercial corridor in the 49th Ward and encourage additional economic development in the area.
Perception Cannabis is a social equity cannabis license holder; its CEO, Charles Cherqui, is a long-term 49th Ward resident. Perception is a majority Black-owned business and plans to hire from within the company. It is a bonafide Social Equity Startup, differentiating it from the major cannabis companies that operate across the country.
7000 N. Clark is currently zoned as C1-2, so no zoning change is required. However, in Chicago, dispensaries are required to obtain a Special Use Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals in order to operate.
My office will host a community meeting on the proposal on Tuesday, March 14, at 6 pm via Zoom. To register to attend the meeting, visit bit.ly/PerceptionCannabis. Spanish translation will be available.